Monday, 11 November 2013

Old Self Portrait Post, Current Study

Was running waaay behind schedule with some coursework-related deadlines, so unable to do anything for the self-portrait day on nov the 1st.

As a compromise, here's a small study done in the old studio late summer:

And below is a study done at Battersea power station grounds (of two loading cranes) when it was briefly open to the public prior to redevelopment:

Thursday, 3 October 2013

Summer Landscapes

Summer work. Been going back slowly to doing more landscapes, both plein air studies and longer interior processes. These are mainly studies on board, or with the case of the attic study below, canvas laid on board (been having problems with uneven canvas expansion in the recent warm weather, so overlaid all plein air canvases on board just to be on the safe side).

Study of the studio complex over at Bermondsey. It's... a bit grim for a summer study (the weather gradually turned better in the afternoon though, so those grey overcast-ish skies gave way to blinding afternoon light!). 3-4 hours.
two-session study of a church near Kensington High Street. There was beautiful warm reflected light under the (decorative arch?), but it was still a bit too warm and golden-hour bias in the end.
Peacock Room, Leighton House. Graphite sketchbook study done over three sessions. Regretted using pencils as I couldn't get as close as possible to an expanded value range to better describe the light (most of the afternoon sessions were spent waiting for optimal light conditions, with drawing slowly being resolved whilst waiting). Wonderful building by the way, but its a shame most of Leighton's landscape studies (which were, in a way, some of his most honest works) are scattered in various private collections, other museums, and auction listings. 
End of the first session for an attic study at a friend's place. Really wonderful, Rembrandt-esque light, but a real challenge with the low ceiling and insulation rolls! The low ceiling light is from our right-hand side, and the light sliver cutting in is better explained in the second state.

Final session of the study. Overall time: 7-8 hours.

*EDIT* just updated two of the images- the larger image for the Bermondsey studio study and the last attic study as the temperature shift was too warm in the original scan! 

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Studio Clearout

Some older portraiture studies done in the studio over the past year, prior to moving out over the summer.The next few posts after these will mainly be newer landscape work, waiting for paint to dry on the landscape panels!

Drawing study of my younger brother, preparatory work for a future painting project.

Study of Leyne

Small poster study of my youngest brother- this study was done quite a while ago, almost 2 years ago

Tania, first state

Vivi, first state

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Gordon Museum Sketches, Part II

A bit on the side regarding Joseph Towne and the nature of his works shown in the Gordon Museum, together with the final sets of drawing studies:

Joseph Towne (1806-1879) was an English moulageur and sculptor who spent the majority of his professional career attached to Guy’s Hospital. Talented from an early age, he showcased works in the Royal Academy shows, but the majority of his career was spent working with several key figures in Guy's Hospital in London. His total output was estimated to be more than 600 models- the bulk of it were dermatology sculptures- with nearly a hundred out that the total amount being anatomical and pathology/comparative models. He is, however chiefly known for his anatomy ceroplastics (coloured wax models, the ones from which the studies were done).

Distinctions in Towne’s work in comparison with other contemporary anatomical models are that ‘…European models (tend to be) models of the living…’ (Towne’s models) as ‘…models of dead people… Towne modeled what he saw’. (Edwards, W. 2013). Roberta Ballestriero, a researcher specializing in wax anatomical models noted the main contrast between Italian and English/German treatment of anatomical waxes relate to stylization vs. anatomical realism. The models in the Cagliari collection were ‘Anatomical Venuses’ compared to the stark, brutal realist depiction of a dissected corpse as per Towne’s treatment. The Cagliari models made by Susini were influenced by a neoclassical tradition, comparable to that (as observed by Ballestriero) of Canova’s statues. However, it can be noted as well how they seem to use the ‘venus’ classification to depict a sensualised figure…

Whilst the Towne models tend to have minimum adornment, being depicted mainly for its intended purpose (as teaching models).

Regardless of treatment, they were all masterful depictions of anatomical figures, and perhaps more importantly as well, the rare instances where overlaps in works designed for a didactic purpose transcend and assume an aesthetic quality unique to the circumstances of its production.


Ballestriero, R. (2010) Anatomical Models and Wax Venuses: Art Masterpieces or Scientific Craft Works? Journal Compilation, Anatomical Society of Great Britain and Ireland. Vol. 216, pp223-234.

Edwards, W.G.J. (2013) Interview with the curator. London, 14 March. [William Edwards is the curator of the Gordon Museum of Pathology in King’s College London].

Riva, A. (2007) Flesh & Wax: The Clemenete Susini’s Anatomical Models in the University of Cagliari. University of Cagliari: Ilisso.

Sunday, 14 July 2013

Gordon Museum Sketches, Part I

As mentioned in the previous post, here are the working sketches for the Gordon Museum project for my coursework.

On-and-off over the past 10 months, I have been based in/working at the Gordon Museum of Pathology in Guy’s Hospital near London Bridge, as part of my coursework. There, I started some research into the ceroplastic sculpts of Joseph Towne (1806-1079), an English moulageur and sculptor. There were a series of wax anatomical models of his (amongst other things you’d expect in a pathology museum) based in one of the rooms which were used as a starting point for creating work. Thus, these here sketches of the ceroplastic models of Towne.

They took a pretty long time to get reasonably correct, even in the basic preliminary contour/line drawing stage. And with the added caveat that we cannot take photos meant having to schedule the time to be in working from the display cases made the project pretty slow-going. In the end though, they turned out pretty nicely, with some of the sketches being turned into photoetches and intaglio prints.

Part two of this post continues with the last few sets of sketches (large double page drawings).

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Coursework Shows and Recent Studio Things...

Apologies for the long delay in between posts, been busy lately with coursework-related projects in campus, and with a pretty hectic moving schedule over the summer break. Had a bit of downtime lately, so will catch up with showing recent events and things happening.

(above) Shots from a recent MA interim show that we were a part of in London, the space was absolutely massive as seen from the pictures above. Pretty intimidating space to fill with work...

(third image down) My small contribution for the MA Art & Science course- a series of inked etching plates of anatomy studies done at the Gordon Museum, King's College, London (more to follow in later posts about this particular project!)

(above) This tiny study made it in to the recent Royal Society of Portrait Painters Annual Show in the Mall Galleries in London. Sadly didn't manage to get a photo of the panel with the frame, turned out pretty nice

Studio in progress.

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Sketchbook drawings and paintings, round 3


A bit of painting & drawing studies for the new year!

Several poster studies from a while back & Boldini/Velazquez study